I’m always super excited when large retailers decide to support local talent. It’s a huge push for South African design, showing off the incredible designers we have right here. And from a practical point, it becomes a bit easier to get our hands on these designer pieces, which are often only stocked in small boutiques scattered around the country.
StyleBySA is a really cool collaboration between Woolworths and local creatives who are making waves in the industry. They’ve launched a few seasons now and so far each collection has contained a range of mouthwatering pieces.
The new StyleBySA collection will launch online on 24 April, and at select Woolworths stores (Sandton, Rosebank, Centurion, Pavilion, and Canal Walk) from 25 April. This year they will feature collections by Rich Mnisi (one of my personal favourites right now!), Thebe Magugu, Young & Lazy, Wanda Lephoto and Sindiso Khumalo.
So what can you expect from the range?
Think chilli reds, creams, cobalts and blacks paired with classically effortless styles, and a strong emphasis on comfort – for all body shapes.
“I’m particularly in love with a 1cm pleat. There’s a beautiful strict fall to it, which touches on my obsession with masculine and feminine elements in union,” Mnisi explained.
“This is the first time that I really poured so much of myself and personal energy into a collection,” Mnisi said. “The pieces are unexpectedly dramatic but wearable at the same time and not at all intimidating. I see the collection being celebrated by a wider audience.”
Sindiso Khumalo’s collection is a subtle and personally inspired one. Drawing on her experience as a mother and a woman, she has shifted the main focus of her garments from their prints to the comfort of the women wearing them.
This collection draws on her travels and experiences she’s acquired along the way. It is a materialisation of her memories and a very intrinsic collection.
“The landscapes from the prints come from trips that I have taken around KwaZulu-Natal and also the Eastern Cape, as well as photographs of the landscapes between the two places,” Khumalo explains. “It’s a piece of the South African landscape on the body, definitely a piece of myself, a conversation of pieces of home, of memory being put into a print. I have designed the collection and the prints myself; I am telling my story, the story of my home.”
Sindiso’s silhouettes are clean and simple, approaching architectural but with definite 70’s influences. The collection will be entirely cotton and silk, all-natural.
“I always use natural fabrics, they sit better on the body. They are more of a long-term investment, I like the idea of people holding onto things for much longer, I like the idea of people holding onto a garment for more than a season.”
Wanda Lephoto and Kabelo Kungwane
Wanda Lephoto and Kabelo Kungwane will showcase a collection they describe as aiding in self-realisation. “This may be the first collection where I’m really finding myself and even starting to like myself,” said Wanda Lephoto. “I am more interested in making clothes that people like enough to wear, as opposed to being liked as a designer.”
We can look forward to classic, structured silhouettes with strong tailoring for this collection.
Young & Lazy
Anees Petersen of Young & Lazy is a designer who takes his inspiration from within and not from external influences or the work of other designers. He designs in isolation in order to create entirely new and completely unique garments.
Expect streetwear inspired pieces with inventive cuts and shapes.
Thebe Magugu describes his collection as eclectic and sophisticated, with a magpie aesthetic. It has been themed around gender studies, playing on contrasts. “I want to combine masculine and feminine almost religiously within every garment I create. There is a crisp, safari style white shirt with a tie but in an incredibly feminine silk organza, there is also an oversized trench coat in an ostrich pink fabrication. It’s about explicitly juxtapositioning the two sexes,” he explains.
Are you looking forward to the new StyleBySA collection? Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
Picture: Rich Mnisi, Supplied